Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Learning about indigenous plants & their traditional cultural uses

Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Learning about indigenous plants & their traditional cultural uses

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

Corowa District Landcare (CDL) & Petaurus Educational Group identified that schools in the Corowa and boarder Murray Region are interested in increasing their students awareness and knowledge of the local Aboriginal culture, including local native plant species which are used by Aboriginal people.

The solution

David Dunn is an award winning, international selling Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) artist, now working with Petaurus Education Group, David is delivering Indigenous artist-in-residence programs to education institutions from preschools to high schools and the community. David has worked in over 100 early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools in NSW and Victoria.

In this project, Corowa District Landcare in partnership with Petaurus Educational Group and support from Murray Local Land Services, visited 10 schools in the CDL area.  David was able to teach school students about traditional uses & the identification of some of our local native plants, such as the Quandong or Guwandang. The Aboriginal people used the ripe red fruit of the Quandong for food & the plants were also valued for their medicinal properties. The students were also engaged through drawing samples of local flora & assisted David in designing Acknowledgement to Country plaques, which is a way of documenting the knowledge they had learnt.  At the end of the program, each school was presented with their own Acknowledgement of Country plaque.

To extend the students’ learning, Petaurus Education Group, Corowa District Landcare and Eucalypt Australia supported each school to visit Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre at Burrumbuttock. On these excursions the students engaged in hands on activities to learn about threatened animals, the importance of local indigenous plants and our iconic eucalypt trees. They got to see, taste and smell the plants in Wirraminna’s Injimarra Garden as well as explore tools and cultural items created from the plants.

The impact

This project was novel and creative, with a lot of thought and planning through collaboration between CDL and Petaurus, it has created something that is valued. The schools are wanting to continue with additional Traditional Ecological Knowledge workshops in the future. This project engaged over 300 students from mixed age groups – early primary to high school in natural resource management & cultural awareness activities in 2018. The teachers also gained professional knowledge from the workshops & it provided an opportunity for David Dunn, to grow his own professional development & to share his traditional knowledge and culture with local Aboriginal & non- Aboriginal school students.

Key facts

  • Sharing Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Engaging over 300 local school students in Landcare
  • Learning about local indigenous plants

Project Partners